[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 244 (Monday, December 21, 2015)]
[Pages 79322-79324]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-31970]



Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. IC16-4-000]

Commission Information Collection Activities (Ferc-500, Ferc-
542); Consolidated Comment Request; Extension

AGENCY: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of information collections and request for comments.


SUMMARY: In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A), the Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission (Commission or FERC) is soliciting public comment on the 
requirements and burden \1\ of the information collections described 

    \1\ The Commission defines burden as the total time, effort, or 
financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, 
retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal 
agency. For further explanation of what is included in the 
information collection burden, reference 5 Code of Federal 
Regulations 1320.3.

DATES: Comments on the collections of information are due February 19, 

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments (identified by Docket No. IC16-4-
000) by either of the following methods:
     eFiling at Commission's Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp
     Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., 
Washington, DC 20426.

Please reference the specific collection number and/or title in your 
    Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in 
accordance with submission guidelines at: http://www.ferc.gov/help/submission-guide.asp. For user assistance contact FERC Online Support 
by email at [email protected], or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 
(toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.
    Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of 
activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and 
issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/docs-filing.asp.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ellen Brown may be reached by email at 
[email protected], telephone at (202) 502-8663, and fax at (202) 

    Type of Request: Three-year extension of the information collection 
requirements for all collections described below with no changes to the 
current reporting requirements. Please note that each collection is 
distinct from the next.
    Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collections of 
information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions 
of the Commission, including whether the information will have 
practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimates of the 
burden and cost of the collections of information, including the 
validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance 
the quality, utility and clarity of the information collections; and 
(4) ways to minimize the burden of the collections of information on 
those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection 
techniques or other forms of information technology.

FERC-500, [Application for License/Relicense and Exemption for Water 
Projects With More Than 5 Megawatt \2\ Capacity]

    \2\ Megawatt = MW.

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0058.
    Abstract: Pursuant to the Federal Power Act, the Commission is 
authorized to issue licenses and exemptions to citizens of the United 
States, or to any corporation organized under the laws of United States 
or any State thereof, or to any State or municipality for the purpose 
of constructing, operating, and maintaining dams, water conduits, 
reservoirs, power houses, transmission lines, or other project works 
necessary or convenient for the development and improvement of 
navigation and for the development, transmission, and utilization of 
power across, along, from, or in any of the streams or other bodies of 
water over which Congress has jurisdiction under its authority to 
regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several States, or 
upon any part of the public lands and reservations of the United 
    FERC-500 is an application (for water projects with more than 5 
megawatt capacity) for a hydropower license or exemption. FERC-500 
includes certain reporting requirements in 18 CFR 4, 5, 8, 16, 141, 
154.15, and 292. Depending on the type of application, it may include 
project description, schedule, resource allocation, project operation, 
construction schedule, cost, and financing; and an environmental 
    After an application is filed, the Federal agencies with 
responsibilities under the Federal Power Act (FPA) and other 
statutes,\3\ the States, Indian tribes, and other participants have 
opportunities to request additional studies and provide comments and 

    \3\ Statutes include the Electric Consumers Protection Act 
(ECPA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Endangered 
Species Act, the Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972 
(the Clean Water Act), and the Coastal Zone Management Act.

    Submittal of the FERC-500 application is necessary to fulfill the 
requirements of the FPA in order for the Commission to make the 
required finding that the proposal is economically, technically, and 
environmentally sound, and is best adapted to a comprehensive plan for 
improving/developing a waterway or waterways.
    Type of Respondent: Applicants for major hydropower licenses or 
exemptions greater than 5 MW
    Estimate of Annual Burden: Applicants for licenses are required to

[[Page 79323]]

include an estimate of their cost to prepare the license application, 
which would include nearly all of the reporting requirements in FERC-
500.\4\ Because the requirements for an exemption application are 
largely the same as that of a license application, the license 
application costs are a good estimate of the exemption application 
costs and of the overall burden of preparing license and exemption 
applications for projects greater than 5 MW. To estimate the total 
annual burden, we averaged the reported license application costs for 
proposed projects greater than 5 MW filed in fiscal years (FY) 2012 
through 2015. The results are presented in the table below:

    \4\ Exceptions would be 18 CFR 2.19, 4.201, 4.202, 4.303, 4.35, 
8.1, 8.2, 16.19, 141.15, and 292.208, none of which directly relate 
to preparation of a license or exemption application for a project 
greater than 5 MW.

   FERC-500 (Application for License/Relicense and Exemption for Water Projects with More than 5 MW Capacity)
                   Fiscal Year                         2012            2013            2014            2015
Number of Applications (Responses)..............               9               7              15               2
Average Cost per Response.......................      $2,059,828      $1,234,987      $3,776,864        $500,000
    Total Burden Cost...........................     $18,538,451      $8,644,909     $56,652,960      $1,000,000

    The average burden cost per application over the period FY 2012 
through FY 2015 was approximately $2,570,797.\5\ We estimate a cost 
(salary plus benefits) of $72/hour.\6\ Using this hourly cost estimate, 
the average burden for each application filed from FY 2012 to FY 2015 
is 35,706 hours.

    \5\ $84,836,320 (Total burden cost from 2012-2015) / 33 (total 
number of applications received from 2012-2015) = $2,570,797.
    \6\ FERC staff estimates that industry is similarly situated in 
terms of the hourly cost for salary plus benefits. Therefore, we are 
using the FERC FY 2015 hourly cost (salary plus benefits) of $72/

                                                                                                                       Total annual
                                                            Annual number of   Total number of     Average burden   burden hours  and       Cost per
                  Number of respondents                      responses per        responses        hours and cost     total  annual      respondent ($)
                                                               respondent                           per response           cost
(1)......................................................                (2)        (1)*(2)=(3)                (4)        (3)*(4)=(5)            (5)/(1)
9........................................................                  1                  9          35,705.52         321,349.68      $2,570,797.42
                                                                                                     $2,570,797.42     $23,137,176.82

FERC-542, [Gas Pipeline Rates: Rate Tracking]

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0070
    Abstract: Commission regulations at 18 CFR 154.402 establish 
requirements for natural gas pipelines that choose to recover 
Commission-assessed annual charges through an annual charge adjustment 
(ACA) clause. All natural gas pipelines subject to FERC jurisdiction 
must have a clause in their tariff that incorporates the Commission-
authorized annual charge unit rate by reference to that rate, as 
published on the Commission's Web site located at http://www.ferc.gov.
    This reporting requirements results from the Commission's being 
required to ``assess and collect fees and annual charges in any fiscal 
year in amounts equal to all of the costs incurred by the Commission in 
that fiscal year.'' \7\ To accomplish this, the Commission created the 
annual charges program, which is designed to recover the costs of 
administering the natural gas, oil, and electric programs by 
calculating the costs of each program, net of filing fees, and properly 
allocating them among the three programs.\8\

    \7\ See Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, Pub. L. 99-509, Title 
III, Subtitle E, Sec.  3401, 1986 U.S. Code Cong. & Ad. News (100 
Stat.) 1874, 1890-91 (codified at 42 U.S.C. 7178 (2012)).
    \8\ Annual Charges Under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act 
of 1986, Order No. 472, FERC Stats & Regs. ] 30,746, clarified by, 
Order No. 472-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ] 30,750, order on reh'g, Order 
No. 472-B, FERC Stats. & Regs. ] 30,767 (1987), order on reh'g, 
Order No. 472-C, 42 FERC ] 61,013 (1988).

    This reporting requirement applies only to the recovery of annual 
charges assessed to entities in the natural gas program.
    The provisions governing the assessment of annual charges are 
codified in Part 382 of the Commission's regulations.\9\ In brief, 
after the Commission calculates the costs of administering the natural 
gas regulatory program,\10\ it assesses those costs to natural gas 
pipeline companies (Pipelines).\11\ Each Pipeline is assessed a 
proportional share of the Commission's costs of administering the 
natural gas program. That proportional share is based on the following:

    \9\ 18 CFR 382 (2015).
    \10\ Id. at 382.102(d) (defining the ``natural gas regulatory 
program'' as the Commission's regulation of the natural gas industry 
under the Natural Gas Act; Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978; Alaska 
Natural Gas Transportation Act; Public Utility Regulatory Policies 
Act; Department of Energy Organization Act; Outer Continental Shelf 
Lands Act; Energy Security Act; Regulatory Flexibility Act; Crude 
Oil Windfall Profit Tax Act; National Environmental Policy Act; 
National Historic Preservation Act).
    \11\ For the purposes of this proceeding, we use the term 
natural gas pipeline company (Pipeline) as it is defined in 18 CFR 
382.101(a) (2012): ``any person: (1) Engaged in natural gas sales 
for resale or natural gas transportation subject to the jurisdiction 
of the Commission under the Natural Gas Act whose sales for resale 
and transportation exceed 200,000 Mcf at 14.73 psi (60[ordm]F) in 
any of the three calendar years immediately preceding the fiscal 
year for which the Commission is assessing annual charges; and (2) 
Not engaged solely in ``first sales'' of natural gas as that term is 
defined in section 2(21) of the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978; and 
(3) To whom the Commission has not issued a Natural Gas Act Section 
7(f) declaration; and (4) Not holding a limited jurisdiction 

. . ..the proportion of the total gas subject to Commission 
regulation which was sold and transported by each company in the 
immediately preceding calendar year to the sum of the gas subject to 
the Commission regulation which was sold and transported in the 
immediately preceding calendar year by all natural gas pipeline 
companies being assessed annual charges.\12\

    \12\ 18 CFR 382.202 (2015).

    Type of Respondent: Natural Gas Pipelines.

[[Page 79324]]

    Estimate of Annual Burden: The Commission estimates the annual 
public reporting burden for the information collection as:

                                                      FERC-542 (Gas Pipeline Rates: Rate Tracking)
                                                                                                                       Total annual
                                                            Annual number of   Total number of     Average burden   burden hours  and       Cost per
                  Number of respondents                      responses per        responses        hours and cost     total  annual      respondent ($)
                                                               respondent                           per response           cost
(1)                                                                      (2)        (1)*(2)=(3)                (4)        (3)*(4)=(5)            (5)/(1)
5........................................................                  1                  5                  2                 10               $144
                                                                                                              $144               $720

    Dated: December 14, 2015
Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr.,
Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2015-31970 Filed 12-18-15; 8:45 am]